Woman loses spleen as surgery goes wrong at private hospital

May 16, 2019 17:40
Following a medical blunder, St. Paul's Hospital has been asked to present the case to a medical advisory committee for review. Photo: RTHK

A medical blunder by a visiting urologist at a private hospital has cost a woman her spleen, Hong Kong authorities revealed on Wednesday, adding that the hospital has been asked to submit the case to an expert panel for review.

According to the Department of Health, it was alerted more than seven weeks ago about a botched operation that took place at St. Paul's Hospital in Causeway Bay on a 57-year-old woman.

The woman sought surgery on March 25 to have a tumor on her kidney removed, but the doctor who performed the operation mistakenly removed her spleen.

After tests revealed that a wrong organ was removed, the admission rights and privileges were suspended for the doctor by the private hospital.

The affected patient, meanwhile, was discharged on April 16.

The hospital claimed that all confirmation procedures conducted before the surgery were consistent with the set standards, the Hong Kong Economic Journal quoted the health department as saying.

The department said on Wednesday that it received a report on the case two days after the medical blunder, which marked the first reportable sentinel event from a private hospital this year.

As the case involved the doctor’s professional performance, the Department of Health has instructed the hospital present the case to its medical advisory committee for review.

The department, after looking into information provided by the hospital, said it found no evidence to suggest that the hospital had violated any relevant laws or guidelines regulating the use of its facilities or manpower, RTHK reported.

A specialist doctor told HKEJ that a mistake like this should not have happened since there are differences between the kidney and the spleen, whether it is their shapes, locations in the system or their respective feel.

St. Paul's Hospital did not reveal any information as to the patient's health condition after her discharge or whether she had filed any requests.

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